- Press Releases
• The Chairman of "la Caixa" Group, Isidro Fainé, said "this restructuring will help reinforce our operations in all fields: financial, business and social”.
• “Many things have changed since the bank was founded 110 years ago. But the “la Caixa” model has adapted to regulatory change while remaining steadfast. Our values have not changed. Nor has our model”, said Fainé.
• Isidro Fainé said the bank "guided by its values, has been true to its mission at all times. All leveraged by leadership, an aspiration to excel and a demand for excellence. Based on trust, honesty and professionalism, seeking absolute coherence between what we say and what we do. As well as our unwavering social commitment, which has been the epitome of the bank since its foundation”.
• CEO Juan María Nin said “in a changing and demanding regulatory climate, “la Caixa” has been quick to evolve and adapt to safeguard its strategic priorities”.
• “The new “la Caixa” Banking Foundation”, added Nin, “will start life with founding capital of 5,868 million euro, group shareholders’ equity of 16,519 million euro and a market value as per 31 March 2014 of 19,837 million euro. This marks the start of a new era from the corporate structure point of view, adapting to current regulatory demands”.
• Juan María Nin pointed out that since 2007 the company has grown 30% in terms of customer numbers and 36% in deposits, while its loan book has expanded by 28%. The bank’s available liquidity has multiplied by 2.4 times, while the solvency ratio has grown from 8% to 12.7%.
The Annual General Meeting of la Caixa d’Estalvis i Pensions de Barcelona, “la Caixa”, today approved a motion to transform “la Caixa” into the banking foundation Fundación Bancaria Caixa d’Estalvis i Pensions de Barcelona, “la Caixa”, in accordance with stipulations of the Savings Banks and Banking Foundations Act, dated 27 December 2013.
As part of the transformation, the AGM also agreed, on the one hand, to dissolve and liquidate the current “la Caixa” Foundation, and, on the other, to fully transfer the interest held by “la Caixa” in CaixaBank to CaixaHolding (100% owned by “la Caixa”), meaning that the Banking Foundation will now control its stake in CaixaBank via Criteria, as well as all debt instruments issued by “la Caixa”.
The main role of the new “la Caixa” Banking Foundation will be to oversee Welfare Projects, manage financial tasks linked with its stake in CaixaBank, manage debt instrument issued by “la Caixa” and supervise investments in non-financial sectors, which had previously been grouped under Criteria CaixaHolding.
A change to safeguard the spirit of the Group
The Chairman of “la Caixa” Group, Isidro Fainé, stated in his speech to the AGM that this transformation “represents yet another step forward for “la Caixa”, as it continues to make great progress in the 21st Century”, all while remaining true to its founding values. “Many things have changed since we started out 110 years ago. But the “la Caixa” model has both adapted to regulatory change and remained steadfast. Our values have not changed. Nor has our model”, said Fainé.
According to Isidro Fainé, “this restructuring will help reinforce our actions in all fields: financial, business and social; creating a more united Group and driving specialisation and efficiency”.
“The history of this institution has been shaped by foresight and adaptation to shifting regulatory environments; to economic, social and technological change; and moreover to the changing needs and habits of our customers and society as a whole. This has been true since Francesc Moragas founded “la Caixa” in 1904, and remains so thanks to the impetus and consistent efforts of successive CEOs and Chairpersons”, said Fainé.
Nonetheless, Fainé was adamant that “some principles have not changed and never will. I refer to our commitment to foresight and constant adaptation to an ever-changing world. And we will always remain true to such commitments, thus sustaining our commitment to serving society in three different areas: finance, business and the social realm. Working in harmony and coherently to bolster what is our most prominent hallmark: our social commitment”.
Isidro Fainé added that the bank, "guided by its principles, has been true to its mission at all times. Leveraged by leadership, an aspiration to excel and demanding excellence. Based on trust, honesty and professionalism, seeking to ensure absolute coherence between what we say and what we do. And a firm social commitment, which has been the epitome of the bank since its foundation”.
Isidro Fainé conveyed “confidence in the future, because we are certain that this change will successfully safeguard and improve the very essence of our mission. The “la Caixa” model is now more vital than ever: if “la Caixa” did not exist, we would have to create it”, he concluded.
Solid and lasting relations with CaixaBank
The Chairman of “la Caixa” explained that “regulations have forced us to transform into a Banking Foundation, but our ties with CaixaBank remain resilient and enduring, with the destinies of both being inescapably entwined”, he said.
He went on to emphasize that "our Welfare Projects also will not change. We will continue striving to reinforce our good work, just as we always have”. The “la Caixa” Banking Foundation, he pointed out, will start life with a foundational reserve of 5,868 million euro (equivalent to 0.6% of current Spanish GDP) and will oversee the Welfare Projects budget of 500 million euro. The new Banking Foundation will have net assets of some 20,000 million, making it the largest foundation in continental Europe and the world’s third largest.
“This transformation will mark the end of an era for “la Caixa”, one that began in October 2007. It has been a 7-year period affected by the global financial crisis and requiring constant adaptation", said Isidro Fainé, adding "it is a great source of satisfaction that throughout this time we have continued to attract customers and work closely with them; while also increasing the number of shareholders and expanding our Welfare Projects”.
Fainé also paid homage to recently deceased former Chairman Ricardo Fornesa, praising his tenacity, temperance, responsibility and approachability. “He was an exemplary Chairman”, he added.
Adaption, without losing sight of strategic priorities
CEO Juan María Nin said “in a changing and demanding regulatory climate, “la Caixa” has been quick to evolve and adapt to safeguard its strategic priorities: growth, working in close partnership with customers and offering maximum service quality; reinforcing our financial strength and sustaining returns for society via high impact welfare projects”.
“The new “la Caixa” Banking Foundation”, added Nin, “will start life with founding capital of 5,868 million euro, group shareholders’ equity of 16,519 million euro and a market value as per 31 March 2014 of 19,837 million euro. This marks the start of a new era from the corporate structure point of view, adapting to current regulatory demands”.
Juan María Nin pointed out that since 2007 the company has grown 30% in terms of customer numbers and 36% in deposits, while its loan book has expanded by 28%. Its available liquidity has multiplied by 2.4 times and the solvency ratio has grown from 8% to 12.7%.
The “la Caixa” CEO pointed out that the 2007-2010 Strategic Plan saw the bank “improve our diversification in terms of risk, business and capital structure, driving business segments where we had little presence and developing value propositions and services tailored to our customers’ needs. All of which led to very rapid organic growth”.
“Our 2011-2014 Strategic Plan saw us take a very active role in restructuring of the financial system. These acquisitions shifted the group towards a more powerful revenue structure closely connected with our retail banking arm, while generating a cost structure that is more coherent with the new banking environment and customer behaviour" explained Juan María Nin.
The “la Caixa” Annual General Meeting approved 2013 Annual Financial Statements and Management Reports, both individual and consolidated, as well as the Board of Directors’ Management Report and allocation of earnings.
The Assembly also approved the 2013 Welfare Projects Report and Financial Statements, as well as a 2014 budget of 500 million euro for the seventh consecutive year.